Free Step-By-Step plans to build a wooden garden obelisk
Have you always wanted one of those lovely English Cottage Garden Obelisks or Pyramid Trellis’ as they are sometimes called?
Me too! They are so pretty and quite the statement piece in your garden.
Even though I live in Texas I pin so many different pins to my gardening board on Pinterest and they all seem to be lovely British gardens.
These are some of my pins:
I lived in the UK for 12 years so I think I got quite attached to that beautiful style of landscaping, it looks so blowsy and pretty, full of fat peonies, poppies and roses.
But here in the US wooden obelisks or pyramid trellis’s are quite expensive and I wanted quite a big one.
I looked up the prices of them and they can run around $300 and then you still have to buy the additional top if you want that lovely ball feature!
I thought that was quite a lot of money for a garden accessory! And since I like to follow along with the blog tagline “elegant lifestyle design on a budget” I wanted to stick to my budget (which was around $50)
I decided to do some research on Pinterest and then asked my husband to make me one based on the different ideas that I had seen.
I really wanted to keep the project as inexpensive as possible. It worked out you could make one for less than $50 for the wood supplies.
In this article, I will show you exactly how to make one yourself
(Honestly, so basic with no glue and no need for expensive DIY tools either, just a saw!)
Please note that this post contains affiliate links and should you purchase anything that I have suggested, I will receive a small commission. I assure you I only recommend products that I have used and would support personally. Please refer to my disclosure for the legal stuff.
Supplies you will need (linked so you can see what we bought):
- 4 X 2x2x8
- 6 X 2x1x8
- Decorative Post Top (we used a leg piece!)
- Wood Screws
- Decorative skinny pieces of trim (if you want to add this, optional)
- A square piece of wood roughly the size of the top to which you will attach the post top, we had some lying around in the garage so we just repurposed it for the project.
- Valspar One Coat Exterior Stain and Sealer SOLID White Base I had some of this leftover from another painting project but you would only need a quart.
- Wood Saw
Step-By-Step FREE DIY Plans to build a wooden obelisk (with pictures)
I wanted to make the steps as simple as possible.
This is not a complicated project, nor do you need a ton of tools to do it.
Make your first side.
- Lay 2 2x2x8 on the ground in a triangle shape.
- Tape the top pieces together for stability.
- The first 2×1 piece of wood should be 24″ across.
- Measure and then cut. We just did straight edges.
- The next piece should be 16″ above that.
- You will attach 5 pieces of 2×1 at 16″ intervals.
First side done!
Repeat Step 1
Use a piece of wood to temporarily anchor the 2 sides together
Match up the sides (using 2×1 pieces)
Remove the anchor when done
Attach screw in leg (the ‘ball’ at the top) to square piece of wood
Attach to the top of the obelisk.
Add your decorative pieces.
We put 2 pieces of 2×1 up the middle of two sides and 2 pieces each of the skinny trim up the other 2 sides.
I painted it using some leftover paint that I had used for our porch which has held up so well. It is Valspar one coat exterior stain and sealer solid white base. We did not tint it.
TIP: In hindsight, I would probably paint before it is put together, I think that would be easier. It was quite tricky getting inside and just when you think you are done, you find another unpainted piece!
How to anchor and secure a wooden garden obelisk or pyramid trellis?
First of all you want to see where to situate it in your garden. We have a pretty little flower garden and we wanted to place it in there.
We first put it in and then pushed it a little bit (not too hard as you might break the supports).
We then removed it and dug holes about 10 inches deep. When we put it back in we had to put some rocks under some of the supports in order for it to be even as the garden itself is on a slight slope.
We then tightly packed the soil around the legs.
This has been sufficient for us and it has endured some seriously high winds.
BUT I WOULD CAUTION YOU if you are worried about pets or children then I would either cement it in place (once you have planted) or tie it down with rope and stakes.
What to plant on a Wooden Garden Obelisk or Pyramid Trellis?
We initially planted sweetpeas around the edges and they are doing OK.
You can see my sweet husband in this picture planting them around the base of the obelisk.
You can also get an idea of how big it is!
You can definitely make it smaller if you wanted to. You would just need to adjust the length of the initial 2x4s.
The sweetpeas are doing OK, they don’t love our crazy Texas heat but I have grown them in the UK and they went crazy.
So what you plant really depends on your climate.
My husband and kids bought me a rose for Mother’s Day so I am going to plant that in the middle.
I’ve decided to put it in a pot as again, planting roses in Texas is tricky if you don’t have the right soil.
The rose is a Mutabalis and I think it will be perfect. Here is a little blurb about it in case you think it will work for you too.
Mutabilis was introduced prior to 1894 and is one of the most famous and beloved of the old garden roses. Amazing medium sized single blossoms that pass through three distinct color phases (hence the name Mutabilis, since the blooms “mutate” in color) beginning with yellow, changing to pink, and finally to crimson. Mutabilis is also known as “The Butterfly Rose” because its blossoms look like brightly colored butterflies that have landed on the bush. Named 2005 “Earth-Kind® Rose of the Year” by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, this is a large, attractive shrub that is supremely easy to grow and has great heat tolerance making it well suited for growing in the South. Be sure to give it plenty of room to grow. Can also be pruned to form a spectacular rose tree 8′ to 10′ in height. Hardy in zones 6-9
This information can be found on the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension page. It has such amazing information about plants.
Final thoughts on DIY’ing a Wooden Garden Obelisk
It was a really simple and easy DIY and one that we would easily do again. It looks so pretty in the garden and I’m so glad I did not go out and buy an expensive one!
Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!